Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of January 30th, 2012: ** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Wayne, our Managing Editor, wish he could exist in multiple parallel universes so he could check them all out.
Already Covered by MoT
Avenue Q by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Lower Ossington Theatre). A college grad moves to NYC and works through the transition to adulthood in this musical puppet show. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 4. $45-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
**Caroline, Or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori (Acting Up Stage Company/Obsidian Theatre). A black maid and the son of her Jewish employer struggle with extraordinary life changes in this musical. Previews Jan 21-22. Opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 12. $32-$45. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, actingupstage.com.
Cruel And Tender by Martin Crimp (Canadian Stage). A general fighting a war in Africa sends a local woman back home to his pampered wife in this modern update of Sophocles’ Trachiniae. Previews Jan 21-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 18. $22-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) Second City presents its latest sketch revue about the things we tell ourselves to get through life. Jan 19-Feb 1. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
Henri Fabergé’s Heligoland Follies (Stages). This monthly six-part performance series features music, comedy, film and narrative theatre about an 1820s community trying to reach a utopian ideal. Oct 6 at 9 pm. Nov 3 at 9 pm. Dec 1 at 10 pm (doors 9 pm). Jan 12 at 9 pm. Feb 2 at 9 pm. Mar 1 at 9 pm. Pwyc. Hart House, Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. harthouse.utoronto.ca/arts/stages/henri.
**Kim’s Convenience by Ins Choi (Soulpepper). A Korean family in Toronto struggles with a bitter past and reconciliation. Previews Jan 12-18. Opens Jan 19 and runs to Feb 11. $51-$68, stu $32, rush $22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy by Steve Solomon (Philip Roger Roy/Dana Matthow/Bud Martin). Solomon performs his solo show about growing up in a wacky, bi-ethnic family. Opens Oct 12 and runs to Feb 5. $51.50-$56. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, italianjewish.ca.
No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (art & lies productions). Three deceased people await their punishment in this existential drama. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 4. $24.95, stu/srs $19.95. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, artandliesproductions.com.
**Penny Plain by Ronnie Burkett (Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes). A reclusive old woman’s sanctuary is disrupted by a chaotic outside world. Previews Jan 20-22. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 26. $38-$55, previews $30. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
**The Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage (Mirvish). The life of a Canadian expat living in Shanghai is turned upside down by two women in this multilingual dance-theatre piece. Previews Jan 10. Opens Jan 11 and runs to Feb 19. $25-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. mirvish.com.
The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Tarragon Theatre). A restaurant’s kitchen staff help an illegal immigrant search for his lost sister. Previews Jan 10-17. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 19. $20-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
The Trojan Women by Euripides, translated by Gwendolyn MacEwen (Alumnae Theatre). The women of Troy seek their voice amidst the destruction of war in this exploration of feminist ideals. Opens Jan 20 and runs to Feb 4. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.
**Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). A passionate woman is caught in a web of corruption, lust and betrayal in this Italian opera. Opens Jan 21 and runs to Feb 25. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
And the Rest
All In The Timing by David Ives (Down n’ Out Productions). A collection of short one-act plays featuring wordplay and modern comedy at the Historic Campbell House. Opens Jan 28 and runs to Feb 12. $55 (includes dinner), mat pwyc (show only). Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. 416-597-0227 ext 2.
A Brimful Of Asha by Asha and Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre). An Indo-Canadian man discovers that his Indian vacation is actually a wife-seeking scheme by his parents. Previews Jan 24-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 18. $18-$22, stu/previews $15-$19. Tarragon Theatre, ExtraExtra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
A Really Bad Play by Daniel Stolfi (FroMast Productions). A cast of understudies, a bad script and poor production derail a theatre show in this comedy. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 4. $15-$20. Pia Bouman School, 6 Noble. areallybadplay.eventbrite.com.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Sony Centre for the Performing Arts presents two different programs by the NYC company with works by Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Paul Taylor, Joyce Trisler and Rennie Harris. Feb 2-4. $28-$88. 1 Front E. 1-855-872-7669, sonycentre.ca.
Closer by Patrick Marber (Mnemonic Theatre Productions). Two couples engage in a game of partner swapping and self destruction. Opens Feb 1 and runs to Feb 4. $20-$25. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. mnemonictheatre.com.
Dracula – A Love Story by Sharyl Hudson (Brant Theatre Workshops). Follow actors through the castle’s historic halls in this adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. Opens Jan 20 and runs to Feb 11. $34-$66. Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. 647-725-1822, casaloma.org.
Festival Of Original Theatre (U of T Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies). The conference and festival features panels and workshops plus performances of Beatriz Pizano’s La Maleta, Helen Vosters’ Performing Peace and others. Feb 2-5. Free. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College. foot2012.wordpress.com.
Funkyland (Famous People Players). The blacklight theatre company presents a twist on Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Apr 28. $62, srs $56, child $40 (includes meal). 343 Evans. 416-532-1137, fpp.org.
Hamlet Live (Hamlet Live Team). Shakespeare’s tragedy is adapted to a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in this production that can be viewed live onstage or via computer live stream. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 11. $5-$40. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst.
Kuumba Harbourfront Centre presents the Black History Month festival, including Lua Shayenne’s Afro-Roots Dance workshop and performance, plus film, music, comedy and more. Feb 3-5. Free (Honey Jam $10). 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com/kuumba.
Les Rythmes De La Foret Collective of Black Artists and Harbourfront NextSteps present dances and rhythms from the sub-Saharan region accompanied by traditional drums and chants. Feb 3-5. $22-$30, stu/srs $18-$25. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
**Love From Afar by Kaija Saariaho (Canadian Opera Company). A 12th-century French troubadour has a long-distance love affair with a woman in Tripoli through a pilgrim who takes their messages back and forth. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 22. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Masques Of Love (Toronto Masque Theatre). Stories of romance and heartbreak are told through torch songs, blues standards, Renaissance lute songs and more in this cabaret. Feb 3-4 at 8 pm. $35, srs $30, under 30 $15. Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity. 416-410-4561, torontomasquetheatre.com.
Syncopation: Life In The Key Of Black Archie Alleyne presents a benefit for the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund with live jazz, dance by Shawn Byfield, a photo exhibit and more. Feb 5 at 3 pm. $40-$50. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina. 416-924-6211, aasf.ca.
Tales From A Suitcase by Laura Caswell (Acting Up Stage Dark Night Cabaret Series). Caswell weaves together musical theatre standards and pop favourites to tell a personal story. Jan 30 at 8 pm. $20. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, actingupstage.com.
The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky (TheatreRUN). A man tries desperately to fit in with a grotesque society in this multidisciplinary adaptation. Previews Feb 2. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Feb 19. $20-$28, preview/Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, theatrerun.wordpress.com.
The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and Tectonic Theatre Project (Encore Entertainment). Residents of a small town react to the beating death of a gay man in this drama based on actual events. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 5. $28-$29.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 1-855-985-2787, encoreshows.com.
The Sealed Angel by Rodion Shchedrin (Soundstreams). This opera features the Elmer Iseler Singers, ProArte Danza dancers and more. Feb 2-3 at 8 pm. $47-$73. Royal Conservatory of Music, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor W. 416-408-0208, rcmusic.ca.
The Who’s Tommy by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff (UC Follies). A traumatized boy discovers his talent for pinball in this rock musical. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 11. $25, stu/srs $15. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
Visiting Mr. Green by Jeff Baron (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). A court orders a young executive to visit an elderly widower after he nearly runs him down in his car. Previews Jan 28-30. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 18. $39.50-$69.50. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.
Zone by Marcel Dubé (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre la Catapulte). A group of young criminals mix love, dreams and violence in 50s Montreal. Previews Feb 1-2. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Feb 12. $33-$57, srs $28-$57. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*